The One in Front of You
When you think of going on a mission trip you might envision large amounts of people in the poorer regions of the earth that are in desperate need physically, emotionally, mentally, and most of all spiritually. While that is common on a mission trip to a foreign nation, along the way, God might interrupt your plans and do something very different. Are you ready to impact “that one” for Jesus? Do you have eyes that see and ears that hear what Holy Spirit might be saying in a particular moment? In the area of evangelism we must be willing to lay our own agenda down and truly be obedient moment by moment to hear God speaking. The person He really wants to touch may be right in front of you. While traveling to a foreign country is typically thought of having “more impact” than walking down the street talking to a neighbor, God is equally concerned and passionate about both.
Statistically America sends out over 120,000 missionaries every year leading every other country in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ. While this amount of people being sent out is wonderful there is a mission field right in front of you that God cares about. These people are your neighbors, the cashiers at the local gas station, the grocery store employees that you see weekly, the students in your class, and the co-workers you work with daily.
When I traveled to Cambodia in April of 2016, my ideas of what the trip would look like were far different than the Lord’s plans. It even mirrored a lot of the evangelism that I had done back in San Antonio, Texas – which was one on one. Sure, I went out with our evangelism team on exciting assignments and prayed for several people in the local town of Phnom Penh, and we saw great fruit from it, but there were two people in particular that made a lasting imprint on my heart.
While having dinner one night after a long hot day out evangelizing in the streets, our server Lim was someone that I knew God wanted to touch with His love. This is what I want to highlight – I thought my day was over but it had just begun! We always have to be ready when God speaks and obey His voice. I was asking Lim about his interests, and why he was in Cambodia, and where his family was from. [A tip in evangelizing is to not have any agenda with people, simply share a conversation with them showing genuine interest.] You may just be planting seeds and simply saying, “You know Jesus really loves you.” It’s really that simple. Trust that God will send others after you to continue to share God’s love with them.
Remember, people are more interested that you care about them, than in knowing all the facts and history of Jesus. Winning souls is about connecting people to God’s heart, using the most powerful force in the universe, LOVE, because GOD IS LOVE!
As I was talking with Lim, Holy Spirit gave me several words of knowledge about him and he was shocked and said, “How did you know that? I said I didn’t but God told me so He could encourage you. He was so touched by this that it opened his heart to hear about the Jesus I love so much! He said, “I can feel love burning in my chest, what is that?” I said, that’s Jesus and His love for you!
While Lim may have thought he was “waiting on me” as my server that night, God was serving him the most beautiful gift of salvation! I followed up with him and had two mentoring sessions with him about how to grow in the Lord and develop a true relationship with Jesus. He was thrilled, and God showed me that leader qualities in Lim will impact thousands for Christ. So yes, I didn’t get to directly impact thousands but Lim will, and I was faithful in the small, just while eating my dinner in Cambodia!
Then one day in Cambodia I was scheduled to go with a small team and wash the people’s feet in the slum areas and bless them with hygiene items showing them God’s love and what servanthood looks like, but was unable to go because of a severe headache. [To be vulnerable these headaches were a challenge most of the trip, but God’s strength and prayers helped me overcome] At the time I was quite upset about missing this opportunity to bless the people of Cambodia, but God said, what about the cleaning woman, Contia? I said yes God, what about her? He said, “You can wash her feet, you already have a scheduled interpreter that is here and waiting.” I said yeah God! Now we’re talking!
So despite severe pain in my head, God’s strength and the love that He had for this woman propelled me on this glorious day! She was so nervous and very hesitant about me washing her feet and sharing God’s love with her as she was used to serving and working all of her life. I said, “It’s time for you to receive!” Washing feet is the example Jesus taught us in the bible when He did this for His disciples. They thought they should be washing His feet, but He reminded them that to be a leader serving others must be the top priority. Contia loved hearing about this as she grew up learning about Buddhism and always giving sacrifices to Buddha. She was taught if you didn’t give to Buddha then you could be cursed or even lose many blessings. I explained to her that Christ came for her and that He gave His life, and was our ultimate sacrifice. I said Jesus Christ wants to bless you today! She was so excited and you could see her heart opening up!
She was telling me she had a severe headache too, and the devil immediately told me you can’t pray for her, look at you, you have a headache! I threw this thought out of my mind remembering the scripture from 2 Corinthians 10:5 “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” When the devil throws his fiery darts at your mind, you have a choice immediately to receive them or throw them out. If you can operate from a reality that Christ lives in you and that it’s Him working through you to heal them and save them, it takes all the pressure off you. Even if you are not 100% well in your physical body this doesn’t disqualify you from praying for the sick or leading people to the Lord.
2 Corinthians 12:9 it says: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.
As I continued to share how she could be forgiven of all her sins and how much God loved her she accepted Jesus with me! Then right after that she said, “No more pain” and pointed to her head! By accepting Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross her headache vanished! That’s right, Jesus Christ is a package deal. He offers us salvation and healing to our souls and bodies! Now it’s obviously not always an instant physical or emotional healing, but God does promise healing for our mind, body and soul through His promises in the Word of God.
I want to really emphasize this to you, Contia was right in front of me daily as the cleaning woman in my missionary house. She was “the one” Jesus had his eye on. God sent me from half way across the world to share God’s love with one precious soul and He gets all the glory!
The next day God put it on my heart to go and bless her with a new dress as God also wanted to show Contia He was her provider financially. She had a hard time receiving at first, totally shocked by this but then came along with me to the market. She was on cloud nine and her smile and eyes could light up all of Cambodia! What an amazing God we serve and have a friendship with! So did I get to go to evangelize to many people that day? No, but I was faithful to the one in front of me. I encourage you to be faithful to “the one” today. Who is God highlighting to you right now that you may be passing by?
Father God, I pray that you impress upon this reader’s heart who they are to go and bless this week with your love. I pray that signs, wonders and miracles follow you to demonstrate the power and authority of the Kingdom of God that they walk in. I command all
fear to leave and the Holy Spirit to empower you for greater levels of boldness to go and find “that one”. I believe in you, and know you have everything you need inside of you, to bring Jesus to someone that is lost and hurting.
“How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns!” Isaiah 52:7
I decree and declare Cambodia will be a Christian nation on fire for Jesus being a light to every country surrounding them and to this whole world! Agree with me!
Written by: Hilary Lynne